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Cries of anguish, sadness as Nigerians celebrate Christmas in pain

It was cries of anguish and sadness everywhere we visited on the eve of Christmas as Nigerians who have spent the whole day either at the fuel station or at ATM queues cry to God for intervention.
At a time when the country is going through intense economic crisis, following the rising cost of food stuffs and other house hold materials, the scarcity of fuel, which is also now, an essential commodity in the country, has added to the problems being experienced by the citizens of the country.
Day and night Nigerians flood fuel station in search of the commodity to either power their generator or move their vehicles, some even sleep at the fuel station to keep vigil waiting endlessly for elusive product.
Holiday makers going to the hinterland to spend the Christmas are worse hit as they have been made to pay through their noses for transport fare that has gone beyond their reach.
Indeed, getting to the Eastern part of the country, a journey of about 461 kilometers now cost N10,000 per person, a fare many believe is very much on the high side and could be enough to feed the ordinary Nigerian.
Most transporters attribute the rise in fare to the non availability of fuel explaining that they have spent two days in fuel station searching for the fuel that will take them to their destination.
According to Kazeem Oyinlola, a transporter who ply the Lagos-Ibadan-Ilorin route, “things have not been easy and the little money we make we spend it on fuel and even when people think we make all the profit, the reverse is the case.”
Chukwudi Ezeonyima a driver of one of the big name in transportation in Nigeria said “in the past regimes, at festive season, the government considered the fact that the masses are the ones that will suffer the effect of the fuel scarcity and make effort to ensure it eases, but now there is no remedy at all and this government appears not interested.”
Investigations conducted at some of the motor parks also revealed that Abuja-Enugu which hitherto was N7,000 has jumped to N15,000 as at Friday. Abuja-Lagos that was N10,000 on the average is now N18,000 and above depending on the type of vehicle and the transport company. Those with luggage are charged higher. “This is a disturbing development. I went to a station at Biaji road around Kubwa on Friday night. Those people sell only at night. Government agencies are aware. Yet, they get away with it. This is saddening”, he said.
Another motorist, who was identified as Christopher Ahmed lamented the lack of petroleum product, explaining that , “As a commercial motorist, I cannot buy black market. It’s suicidal. So, I must queue anywhere I see that they are selling no matter how long the queue is. My car slept at NIPCO the other time and despite that they said there was no petrol.
“ This morning (Saturday), I left my house around 5am to resume at the station. I got petrol around 5pm because their truck got here late and it had to discharge.
“This Christmas is already messed up. We may spend the whole day at filling stations.”

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